Chicago Sun-Times

Angelo says Simeon Rice not in the Bears' plans

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If the Bears are a possibility for Simeon Rice in his world, then he might want to connect with Jerry Angelo.

It doesn't look like the Chicago kid will be coming home, not to play for the Bears any way.

In his bi-weekly visit with the team's Web site, Angelo said the club will not be pursuing the one-time dominant pass rusher.

"At this point, I doubt we'd be pursuing Simeon as an alternative,'' Angelo said. "He was a great player and I really respect what he did for Tampa. I thought he was the missing link that put them over the top during their Super Bowl year.''

It might be a stretch to say Rice was the player that put the Buccaneers over the top. What really clicked for them during the 2002 season was the offense that Jon Gruden installed, turning Brad Johnson into a prolific passer, if just for a short while. But Rice was an elite performer who had double-digit sacks in seven of eight seasons when at his peak. He gave the Bucs a dominant edge rusher to go with the inside force the defense already had in tackle Warren Sapp. There is no denying Rice, who has 122 career sacks, was the final piece for the defense.

At 35, and having sat out an entire year after being injured, it might be tough for him to find work. Rice said his preference is to return to the Bucs.

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It will be even harder for him to find work now that the Bears are out of the mix. The Bucs are moving away from the Tampa 2, and using larger, more two way DEs. Rice was never any good at stopping the run, and would be even less likely to anchor. Indy is really the only other pure Tampa 2 as a base scheme, and it seems like they are moving away from it under Caldwell, especially after drafting 2 stouter DTs to defend the run.

Good luck to him, but odds are he won't get another shot unless someone gets hurt between now and opening weekend.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on May 6, 2009 12:07 PM.

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